Ann. Limnol. - Int. J. Lim.
Volume 51, Number 3, 2015
|Page(s)||261 - 272|
|Published online||09 November 2015|
Controlling factors in planktonic communities over a salinity gradient in high-altitude lakes
1 Instituto Nacional de Limnología (INALI), Ciudad Universitaria, Paraje El Pozo S/N, (3000) Santa Fe, Argentina
2 Fundación YUCHAN, Mariano Moreno 1950 (A4401XAK), Villa San Lorenzo, Salta, Argentina
* Corresponding author: email@example.com
Accepted: 7 August 2015
This study aimed to determine the factors affecting plankton structure along a salinity gradient during the summer in high-altitude endorheic lakes in Catamarca Province (Argentina). During the summer 2013, eight lakes located between 3000 and 4300 meters above sea level were sampled in a 6-day period being analysed plankton, limnological variables and flamingo abundance. Principal Component Analysis explained 80% of the system variability, permitting lakes to be ordered by salinity: subhaline (SH), hypohaline (HH) and mesohaline (MH). A total of 101 phytoplankton taxa were registered, having Bacillariophyceae the highest richness (43 species registered). HH lakes were dominated by Bacillariophyceae (between 65 and 100%), while Chlorophyceae and Euglenophyceae were more abundant in SH and MH lakes. Zooplankton was poorly represented in richness (only 21 species were registered). MH lakes were dominated by Copepoda (>85% of total abundance) and HH lakes by Rotifera (>51% of total abundance). It was not found a clear pattern in SH lakes. The redundancy analysis explained 70.7% of phytoplankton variability and 75.7% of zooplankton variability. Bacillariophyceae presence was associated with availability of dissolved silica (Si), while Euglenophyceae and Chlorophyceae were associated with a higher nitrogen:phosphorus ratio. Cladocera and Copepoda abundance were linked to Euglenophyceae abundance and the area of lakes while Rotifera displayed a positive relation with the concentration of dissolved organic matter. We conclude that both phytoplankton and zooplankton abundance are mainly controlled by Bottom-Up forces including dissolved Si for Bacillariophyceae, and availability of Euglenophyceae for zooplankton while salinity and altitude have an effect on plankton richness distribution.
Key words: Phytoplankton / zooplankton / Bottom-Up / Top-Down / high-altitude salt lakes
© EDP Sciences, 2015
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